Taste

A Completely Subjective Ranking Of Beach Cocktails, From Best To Worst

Bottoms up!
07/21/2017 06:00am ET | Updated July 22, 2017
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Most of the time, ordering a drink that comes with a big wedge of fruit and a little umbrella is absurd. But when the sun is out, the sand is nearby and the ocean is lining the horizon, getting down with a beach cocktail is the best decision you can make in your life.

There are a great many different beach cocktails that can be mixed (or preferably, blended) by your vacation bartender, but not all of them are equal. Some of them actually are a downright disgrace and a waste of calories. And some of them are so good, you’ll quickly order another round.

We’ve rounded them up below ― the good, the bad, and the absolutely ridiculous ― and ranked them from disgraceful to delightful. Read it and order wisely next time you’re at the beach.

16
Blue Lagoon
A blue lagoon is a simple cocktail made with vodka, blue curaçao and lemonade. It might be easy to make, but it's hard on the eyes. Cocktails should not be blue. Let's leave that color to the ocean.
15
Blue Hawaiian
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At least the Blue Hawaiian adds rum and coconut creme to the terrible blue curaçao. But that blue, just make it stop.
14
Bahama Mama
One of the worst names to grace a cocktail. And thanks to the inclusion of banana liqueurin this otherwise solid cocktail, it totally deserves it. Forget this drink exists and stick with one of the many great beach cocktail options below.
13
Long Island Iced Tea
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This drink might get the job done -- mixed with gin, rum, tequila, vodka and triple sec -- but it's basically a garbage dump of a cocktail.
12
Sex on the Beach
Refreshing? Yes. This cranberry, orange, peach schnapps and vodka cocktail tastes like a party in your mouth. But that name, it really gets in the way of this drink's enjoyment.
11
Strawberry Daiquiri
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You can't visit a beach bar and not see strawberry daiquiris. They are a standard. But, they're also not really the best beach cocktail option. This strawberry, rum and lime drink is just way too sweet.
10
Tequila Sunrise
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Tequila, orange juice and grenadine, the tequila sunrise is a good gateway drink for those on the fence with fruity, beach cocktails.
9
Mai Tai
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This orange-y rum drink deserves the little umbrella it gets served with.
8
Bay Breeze
Pineapple juice, cranberry juice and coconut rum -- it doesn't get more tropical than a glass of this right here.
7
Paloma
Grapefruit soda and tequila, that's all it takes to make the Paloma -- Mexico's beloved cocktail. And it's beloved for good reason, grapefruit and tequila are a match made in heaven.
6
Mojito
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There's no denying the refreshing qualities of a mojito. The main flavor of this rum-based cocktail is mint, after all. But, its lack of fruity flavor means it isn't the winner of beach cocktails.
5
Hemingway Daiquiri
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This is may be the classiest cocktail you can order on the beach, even if it was Hemingway's favorite drink. It's made with lime juice, grapefruit juice, rum and maraschino liqueur. It's very, very drinkable.
4
Hurricane
Two kinds of rum, two kinds of citrus juice and some passion fruit juice makes this New Orleans classic a drink we'd happily imbibe at any beach. Even if it's not frozen.
3
Frozen Margarita
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A margarita is made with tequila, lime, triple sec and sugar. It is zingy, sweet and endlessly refreshing. When it comes frozen, it makes an amazing beach cocktail. (Sure, there's a time and a place for margaritas on the rocks, but not on the beach.)
2
Piña Colada
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Piña coladas, made with rum, pineapple and coconut creme, are hands down the quintessential beach drink. Their only downfall? They're too easy to drink.
1
The Miami Vice
This beautiful-looking drink IS IT (despite what we said about strawberry daiquiris before). The Miami Vice is one part piña colada, one part strawberry daiquiri, and it is vacation in a glass. We'll take two!